Feeding the hungry one student at a time

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Feeding the hungry one student at a time

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Student Life’s food pantry serves more than 40 people a day

A student is shown donating to the food pantry.

Carl Carallas / Staff Photo
Students who come to school later in the day could donate their food and hygiene supplies to the after-hours (Mon–Tue: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wed–Thur: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fri: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) bank for Student Life to pick up in the morning the next day.

Meal affordability can be a struggle for anyone, especially for those who are either low-income or homeless. Thankfully there is a resource here on campus that can help a little with feeding one’s belly.

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom’s campus food pantry has been on site now for two years now, according to Student Life Issues and Awareness Coordinator Aidan Helt and Student Government Vice President Caleb Bromley. Both have been working on making the food drive happen in order to make sure food is available in the pantry. The food drive started on Nov. 1 and ends next Friday.

“Being a low-income student myself, I know how it is to wonder if I can afford food myself and for my family,” said Helt, a full-time student and mother to her five kids. “I don’t know the percentage of homeless students on campus, but I have noticed on the weekends a large number of students sleeping on campus, so we know the pantry is being used on the weekends as well.”

The Student Life office has a storage area where food donations are kept and sorted through as they come in to make sure food that is expired isn’t put out. There is not normally a lot of excess food as it goes out pretty quickly.

The college faculty and staff helped start the pantry, which serves more than 40 people a day, and have been huge contributors and supporters of it, Bromley said.

Student Life staff poses with some food donations.

Carl Carallas / Staff Photo
Caleb Bromley (left) and Aidan Helt (right) are the individuals in charge of the Food Pantry Drive in order to gain more variety of for students.

“The response has been huge,” said Bromley, who said he hopes the food drive could be held at least once each quarter. “There has been overwhelming support from the faculty and staff; it’s been great.”

Though the drive ends Friday, donations for the food pantry could be dropped off at the Student Life office in Cascade room 418 across from the cafeteria.

Some of the items that are always needed are bowls, plastic ware, canned meals and soups. All items must be dry and non-perishable. Donations of hygiene items are always welcomed and needed, especially feminine hygiene products.

A microwave is now available in the hallway across from the Performance and Fireside lounges so those who are on campus for evening classes could warm up their food even after the cafeteria closes at 3 p.m. every day.

If you have any questions, please feel free to visit the Student Life office, which is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.